What Would Mark Twain Say?

Posted by: on Oct 27, 2015 | No Comments


What Would Mark Twain Say?

Many moons ago, I was told this little anecdote about Mark Twain. It is one I’m very fond of and have often repeated.   Here goes.

One day, Mr. Twain goes to the doctor. His doctor looks at him and says “you would live 5 more years if you gave up cigars.” To which Mark Twain responded “those are 5 years I’d rather not live.”

With news that the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined  that processed meats cause cancer, I immediately thought about what Mark Twain would say. He’d probably quote Joe Jackson (the singer/songwriter not the baseball player) and say “everything causes cancer.” In other words, life causes caner. To add to my quota of quotes for the day, “we were always leaving, since we started breathing,” courtesy of Todd The Wet Sprocket.

So now WHO (the health folks not the baseball player) want me to give up bacon, hot dogs and other really tasty stuff. Well guess what? Ain’t gonna happen. It’s not like I eat this stuff every day. I realize that a daily diet of processed meats would clog my arteries faster than you can say “pastrami on rye” but hey, I need a good pastrami or corn beef sandwich from time-to-time.

You know what else causes cancer? The sun. A few months back, the surgeon general said sun tanning was like smoking cigarettes. Let me tell you about my mother. She schmeared SPF 150 sun block all over herself, she wore a big hat, she did everything she could to protect her skin. You know what happened? She suffered from a Vitamin D deficiency from not getting enough sun, got some sort of skin condition and had to go for special treatments. How do you not get enough sun when you leave in Florida? The Sunshine State! My mom took things to the extreme.

Honestly, I don’t have a problem with folks who smoke cigarettes. You want to kill yourself…be my guest. Just don’t get to close to me, don’t get in my car, don’t expect me to drive in your car, and don’t think you will be welcome in my house. It’s not that you smoke cigarettes…it’s that you stink like cigarette smoke and that stink attaches itself to anything it gets close to.

Getting back to Mark Twain, if he were alive today, his vice was hot dogs, and his doctor told him he’d live 5 more years if he gave them up, he’d say “those are 5  years I’d rather not live” and I am thinking he would add “I will leave my destiny up to a higher authority.”